Essay #3 Research Paper By now you should have chosen a topic based on your readings in Gender: A Reader for Writers, created a research question, and written a review of the literature on that topic. Now it’s time to write an essay based on the research question you developed on your topic. Your specific task and thesis should develop from your research question, but you also must demonstrate critical thinking. Therefore, your essay should be one of the following: position argument; proposal argument; critical review or critique (of previous studies in the field, for example); textual analysis; cause/effect demonstration (this is a type of argument); proof of hypothesis or theory. Your research paper should be at least 2,500 words (10 pages) in length. You must decide how to divide and organize your essay based on your task and what you found in your research, but in general your structure will be similar to Essay #2: 1) An Introduction that provides your reader with necessary context. This might include an overview of the topic, important terms and background material, and the purpose of your essay (your thesis). 2) A Body that demonstrates the critical thinking task you have chosen and provides evidence to defend your position, based on your research. If you choose to make an argument, for example, the body of your essay might state your underlying assumptions, your claims, supporting evidence, and your response to opponents. If you wish to demonstrate a cause and effect relationship, you would want to show how the cause leads to the effect and why it is a causal relationship, not just a correlation. 3) A Conclusion that not only summarizes main points but also explains the significance of your research. Why do your findings matter? Where do we go from here? Be sure to give readers something to consider after they have finished reading your essay. Your topic and research will probably draw from your Essay #2 (literature review), but if you would like to write about a new topic (as long as it’s still related to our course theme of gender), that’s okay too. If you choose a new topic, you should do your own literature review (not for a grade, just for your own benefit) before deciding on your research question, task, etc. As you work on this assignment, consider the following: Begin with your research question, and be sure it is a question that requires critical thinking to answer. For instance, a research question like, “What are the differences between toys marketed for girls and boys?” would not be a good choice because you could simply look up the answers in a source and list them. However, a question like, “What effect does gendered marketing of children’s toys have on gendered behavior later in life?” can’t be answered simply by looking up facts. That question requires you to demonstrate a cause/effect relationship, using evidence to support your argument. Your thesis will probably be the answer to your research question. For an analysis of media representations of girls, a good thesis might be, “Unlike the old-fashioned feminine damsels in distress of Disney’s earlier films, today’s Disney princesses are strong, capable women, and excellent role models for girls.” Your essay would show how/why that thesis is true, using evidence from the films and the scholarly research. If your topic were a proposal argument, your thesis would tell us the problem you intended to solve and your recommended solution. Your essay must do more than report information. Ask yourself how you are contributing to our understanding of your topic. What does your essay add to the ongoing conversation? In order to do this, first you must do enough research to understand the conversation. Then, find your place in the conversation. Lastly, decide what you want to say and say it! Be sure to develop a research plan and schedule, and stick to it. You will be working on this project for more than a third of the semester. Set daily or weekly goals and hold yourself to them. It is a good idea to write this schedule/plan down. Your research essay must use at least 15 sources including: 1) At least three books 2) At least seven scholarly journal articles 3) No more than two web sources (note: articles taken from a database like EBSCOHost are not web sources, but articles found in a Google search are) Remember to follow MLA style for all formatting and citations, and include a Works Cited list at the end of your essay.